Gothenburg, Sweden, was awarded The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 at a ceremony in Helsinki on 9 October. The title is awarded by the European Commission aiming at rewarding cities with the smartest, most innovative and inclusive approaches to tourism development. “This marks the start of a new era for Gothenburg. We are going from smart to smarter, and we intend to be a motor for the entire EU”, said the city’s representative Peter Grönberg.
35 cities from 17 EU-countries took part in the competition that evaluates candidates from four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalization, and culture & creativity. Ten was selected for the final presentation in Helsinki. In the entry for The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 award, Gothenburg focused on strengths in all four categories and on being ready to share best practices and learnings with other destinations.
Gothenburg is in the digital frontline, with high connectivity and a large number of tech companies. Also, the city is a leader in sustainability, with a number one ranking in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.
– As Lord Mayor of Gothenburg, it is very rewarding to be here in Helsinki to discuss Gothenburg as a smart destination. We are very proud of our city and we work hard to win even more people’s confidence to visit us, said Anneli Rhedin, Lord Mayor of Gothenburg.
– This is a recognition of all the work and creativity that our local partners put in when it comes to making Gothenburg a smart destination. We know that investing in sustainability, accessibility, digitalization, culture, and creativity is wise. With the help from the title, we will be an even stronger ambassador for this mindset, said Peter Grönberg, CEO of Göteborg & Co, the destination management organization of Gothenburg.
Outtake from Gothenburg’s entry:
Being smart makes what is good even better. Our pocket-sized metropolis has for 400 years gathered people who believe in international and cultural exchange. To anyone who perceives “smart” as a tech term, we wish to show another side: a side filled with warmth, inclusiveness and human values. Gothenburg is a sustainable city open to the world.
Gothenburg Region facts:
Location: West coast of Sweden
Population: 1 million
City founded: 1621
Number of Universities: 2
Number of students: 60,000
Public transport run on sustainable fuels: 96%
Environmentally certified hotel rooms in the city: 95%
People employed within the information and communications technology sector: 29,000
Start-ups in 2018: 7,119
Green space per citizen (in the city): 274 m²
Bicycle lanes in the city: 810 kilometers
Museums in the city: 20
Yearly guest nights:~ 5 million
Facts on the competition:
The European Commission awards the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 to two European cities with the smartest, most innovative and inclusive approaches to their tourism development. In 2019, Helsinki and Lyon hold the title and in 2020, it will be Gothenburg and Malaga. The competition is open to cities in the EU with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants. In EU countries where no city has more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply. By rewarding exemplary practices of smart tourism, the EU seeks to encourage innovation of tourism destinations, support culturally diverse and inclusive tourism and highlight the multi-faceted contribution of tourism to sustainable development.